Effective January 1st, 2020, The City of Vancouver will be banning all domestic water-cooled air-conditioning systems.
What is a Once Through Cooling (OTC) System?
Once through cooling systems use drinking water in a single pass as a cooling medium. The water used for this process is then drained to the sewer. As a result of this wasteful use of drinking water, many jurisdictions in North America have banned their use.
The most common application historically was using water source heat pumps for server rooms. For many larger buildings, the base building HVAC system would shut down after hours and over weekends. However, server rooms would still need cooling at these times and the OTC system was used for after hours cooling.
When is this ban effective?
While this ban has been in place for new projects since 2017, all systems including existing ones, must be phased out by Jan 1, 2020.
What are my options?
The most common solution would be to install an air-cooled system in place of the OTC system. However, every building is unique and it might possible to use the base building system with some schedule adjustments.
I can’t meet the deadline. Is there anything I can do?
The city is allowing a 1 year extension (Jan 1, 2021) provided certain conditions are met, and an engineer is retained.
If this change affects your building, please contact BC Comfort for a customized solution that will best suit your needs and timeline.